With Florida’s extensive coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, Florida ranks #1 for being struck by a record 113 hurricanes since 1851. Because it is a peninsula, virtually every part of Florida is susceptible to these disasters. Global Rescue, Relief and Resilience (GR3) has been a leader in disaster response, not only in Florida but in Haiti and other disaster affected regions of the world. Since 2002 GR3 has built a network of professional partners and affiliates, who, at a moment’s notice can respond to any federal or internationally declared natural disaster. In addition GR3 is prepared, from its Clermont, Florida base on 54 acres of lakefront property, to increase training opportunities for volunteers, with the belief that disaster response volunteers must be skilled in the FEMA methodologies in order to work in harmony with other actors in any emergency situation.
Thousands of youth today are looking to expand their opportunities for positive civic engagement, but lack the training to be marketable to aid agencies. Just having certification on the CV of a young person demonstrates that they have reached beyond the average, and makes youth more employable. GR3 has Trainer of Trainers (TOT) who have not only the technical knowledge but hands-on actual experience working in some of the most challenging of environments.
GR3 will open up, during the first phase of training, opportunities for volunteers to learn in remote satellite based classroom situations. Those who complete the first phase will move on to phase two, where they will be invited to camp at the Lake Louisa Lodge facility over a period of three days. During that time they will experience hands-on simulation of a number of disasters, such as; rescue, fire, earthquake, hurricane, and flood. They will be taught by experienced professionals. At the conclusion of phase two, each person who completes the course will be offered a certificate that corresponds with their level of training.
Funding will be used to pay professional trainers. It will also cover the cost of establishing and operating the remote satellite training facilities. Training materials and supplies will be replaced. Volunteers will show their commitment by paying for their own transport and camping needs during the three days.
The direct output of this investment will be 300 volunteers who have completed basic FEMA training and been certified over a total of 2000 hours. The indirect output will be that at least ten percent of those volunteers will choose to pursue advanced training. Ultimately, when disasters do strike, volunteers will be equipped to participate with any organization of their choice, to make a positive difference in the lives of Floridians and others.